Throughout the history of the Raiders franchise, the team has been blessed with some of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Unfortunately, over the last several years, they have failed to field a strong pass defense. That hasn’t been for a lack of trying. The team has used first-round picks on defensive backs five times over the last decade.
The Raiders have desperately tried to fix the issue but have failed at every turn. However, they’ve got a couple of young defensive backs they’re very excited about. That hasn’t worked out for them in the past, but hopefully, they can buck the trend. The team recently added Prince Amukamara in free agency and his presence could help the young group of players.
Amukamara Brings Leadership to Young CB Group
Amukamara came into the NFL as a first-round pick. It’s arguable whether or not he lived up to his high draft status, but he’s been able to put together a solid career. He believes his skill set will be an asset to the Raiders.
“Everything was very positive, [the decision to sign me] was more based on a certain set of skills that I have and how I can help with what’s going on,” Amukamara told Raiders.com. “[Mayock, Gruden, and Guenther] thought I could be a very essential part, and I think also what’s always been praised about me — not to toot my own horn — but me being a veteran and a true pro. Just the way I’m able to lead.”
A team as young as the Raiders can always use more veteran leadership and it also helps that Amukamara has the skills to be able to make an impact as a starter if necessary.
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Amukamara Believes He Fits Raiders Defense
A really big reason why Amukamara decided to seal the deal with the Raiders was because of defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.
“With Paul’s defense, I followed him when he was at Cincinnati and you can see the guys are aggressive, and he likes for his guys to press and I think that’s where I flourish,” Amukamara said. “I’m one of, if not the best, corners in press, man-to-man coverage in the league and I have the tape to show that, which is why I’m saying that so boldly.
“[Guenther] seems like he’s the kind of guy that likes to attack, he doesn’t sit back and wait for the game to come to him. You like that as a defensive player because you know you have a guy who’s going to send pressure and who’s going to take it, and put you in a position to make those plays.”
Guenther has struggled to lead a strong defensive unit since he left the Bengals for the Raiders. That said, he was able to put up some really good years in Cincinnati. He’s now got some really good defensive talent to work with and the Raiders have spent a lot of money to give him the tools to succeed.